Tempelhof Tower to get Tourist Terrace

The first phase of a three-part construction project to open Tempelhof’s massive buildings to tourists began this month with plans calling for a visitor’s terrace to be built adjacent to the former airport’s control tower, which itself will become a viewpoint.

The project will also include an exhibition area below the roof with — wait for it — a cafe. It will also include the renovation of one of 13 historic stairwells to allow access to both the exhibition and the airport’s roof and control tower, according to the Tagesspiegel.

The stairwells were part of the original construction of Europe’s biggest contiguous building but only a few were ever finished — others were walled in.

The German government is reportedly contributing €4 million to the projected €8.36 million cost of the project, which is expected to triple the number of annual participants in airport tours to 150,000 from 50,000. Berlin will cover the remainder.

Tempelhof ceased operations as an airport in 2008 and has since become the largest inner-city park in the world. Berlin had once hoped to open the airport’s border to construction but an advisory vote by citizens in 2014 halted those plans.

“I hope it still happens sometime,” the paper quoted German construction minister Barbara Hendricks (SPD) as saying.

Swiss architects :mlzd won a contest with its plans for the renovation, known officially as Tower THF 2019/20, and are overseeing construction. Workers are reportedly currently investigating the building’s stability.

The second phase will create a historic exhibition and even more space for gastronomy along Tempelhof’s 1.2 km roof — even more stairwells will be updated for this step.

The final phase will be the relocation of the Allied Museum, currently in Zehlendorf across from the U.S. embassy, to Tempelhof’s Hangar 7.


Rendering thanks :mlzd.

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